Sports

Stories from the Stables Part 2 – Topper. Ouch!

Our Stories from the Stables series from Carolyn Ward continues with a  flea-bitten grey with a shocking attitude.

 

Topper.  I swear that pony could scowl.

It was my week to ride him, and I had just hauled him all the way down to the outdoor school and stood him in the middle to check his girth and stirrups.  As I reached under to tighten up the girth he turned his head toward me and eyeballed me, then stepped over with his nearside foreleg; and stamped on my left foot.

I hissed a very rude word and frantically pushed him to move him off. My foot sunk into the woodchip surface with his heavy weight crushing it down.  By now he was still looking directly at me, so I started punching his shoulder to try and get him to step off.  Today’s teacher was a crosspatch I have no fond memories of; if she had found out about it I’d have been bawled out for having my foot in the wrong place or something.

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Home, Health & Style

Who Invented Denim Jeans?

If you’re anything like me, you’ll live in denim jeans when you’re not at school– they’re comfy, practical and come in loads of different styles, colours and designs. I’ve also got a denim jacket, which is perfect for throwing on over dresses when it’s cold outside. Even denim gilets come in and out of fashion on a pretty regular basis.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that denim has become something of a wardrobe staple over the years and in fact, I don’t really know what I’d do without it. But jeans haven’t always looked the way they do now and trends have changed a lot over the years.

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Science, Nature and Tech, Toys and Games

Why DO Kids Want to Play Minecraft?

Sitting back, ready for another interesting and rather aggressive night on COD (Call of Duty), I launch my dashboard to see the usual suspects all gathered playing the latest shoot ’em ups.

Except one.  Looking again, I notice my 13-year-old brother Jimbob is playing a game I’ve never seen – MINECRAFT.

After much persuasion and explanation “COME ON BRO, BUY IT PLEASE, YOU BUILD STUFF”,  I decide to purchase it, in order to support him in our mum’s campaign to play online more responsibly.

The game launches and all I see is blocks. Have I got the right game? Where are the graphics?

Wandering mindlessly around, past trees, rivers and spiders, until Harvey Jimbob asks me to come to his house. Here’s the strangest part: he built it.

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Science, Nature and Tech

Why do we get Hiccups?

why do we get hiccups

Everybody gets hiccups (also sometimes spelt ‘hiccoughs’). Even when babies are still in the womb they hiccup, which can feel very odd to their mother! But why do we get them and how can you stop them?

What are Hiccups?

Hiccups are caused by the diaphragm (pronounced DYE-uh-fram). This is a large, dome-shaped muscle that sits at the bottom of your chest cavity, below your lungs. When we breathe in the diaphragm tightens, helping to pull air into the lungs, and when it relaxes it forces the air back out again. Sometimes the diaphragm becomes irritated and instead of tightening smoothly it does it in a jerky way, which makes air suddenly rush into your throat. This air is stopped when it hits the voice box and makes the opening between the vocal cords close very suddenly. This is what produces the sound of the hiccup.

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Language & Literature

Shooting stars, Weather, and Rocks falling from the Sky!

 

 

What do shooting stars, weather and rocks falling from the sky have in common? Are you wondering whether we have gone mad asking such a question? Do rocks ever fall from the sky? Of course they do! You might know them better as “meteorites”, and they are meteors, or rocks from outer space, that fall down to the earth. And what does that have to do with weather? It’s not like they come down like rain! And before you say to yourself “meteor shower”, remember that a meteor is actually a shooting star, a space-rock that burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere. Related, yes, but weather, no.

The weather connection is through another word, generally used to mean “study of the weather”. That word is “meteorology”. As you can see, all three have something in common – the word “meteor”.

So what is this word, and how did it come to mean these different things?

Meteor came into English through French in the late 15th century. In French it was meteore. Very similar, you might think. Does this mean that it is a French word. Not at all. The next question we must ask ourselves is where did French get it from? The answer is from Medieval Latin meteorum, which meant “things in the heavens”. But this is not the end of the tale. Latin took the word from ancient Greek, and in Greek we can analyse the word to see what it really means.

The Greek word μετέωρα (meteora) can be broken into two parts: meta, which means “over, beyond” and aora, which comes from the verb αείρω/ αίρω (aeiro, airo), which meant “to raise, lift up”. Even today, in Modern Greek, αιωρείται (aioreitai) means “it hovers”. All this means that the original meaning of the word was “thing that is raised in the air”. And even in ancient times this developed to mean “things in the sky” and gradually came to have the meaning it does today.

Another interesting point is that the word “air” is in fact from the same root as αείρω (aeiro), which makes it a distant cousin, or cognate, of “meteor”.

 

Did you know:

One of the largest and most famous meteor craters is to be found in northern Arizona, desert of the U.S. It is 1,200m wide, 170m deep and calculated to be created 50,000 years ago! It is more commonly known as the Barringer Crater.

Screenshot 2013-10-28 at 09.49.14

 

 

 

Title Photography: Mike Lewinski 2013

Amanda Scheliga 2007 

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